On any other day, in any other year, Kobe Bryant’s final game on Wednesday night would dominate media coverage without exception. No other games would matter in comparison. But not this day. While Kobe’s farewell is still receiving plenty of attention, there is another game that’s stealing the show in some regards.
As everyone who cares knows by now, the Golden State Warriors are going for win #73 on Wednesday night in an attempt to break the Jordan-led ’95-’96 Bulls’ record for most regular season wins. It’s one of those records that is surrounded by a magnified mystique in the minds of fans because of who holds it. Steph Curry and the Warriors breaking this record would see mean they placed a permanent stamp in the most sacred annals of NBA lore.
A few days ago, ESPN quietly made a move that is loaded with so much symbolism that it can’t possibly be ignored. With the sports giants owning the rights to both games, they announced that the Warriors’ quest for 73 will be broadcast on ESPN, while Kobe’s swan song has been relegated to ESPN2. In a practical sense, it doesn’t mean much. I can’t imagine there’s a bunch of people out there who can access ESPN but not ESPN 2. But the message is clear: Kobe’s run was phenomenal, but this is Steph Curry’s NBA now.
Whichever game you decide to watch, there’s one thing that pretty much everyone can agree on: It’s a great night to be an NBA fan.